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Wageningen University

Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

Wageningen University via edX


Are you involved in sports or regular exercise and do you want to have a better understanding of the role of nutrition on performance and health? Do you want to learn whether certain nutritional strategies could be relevant for your own athletic performance and/or muscle growth? Are you a dietitian, personal trainer, physiotherapist or a health/sport coach and do you want to be able to provide proper nutritional advice for your clients? Or, are you none of the above but interested in nutrition, exercise and sports and do you want to make your own informed decisions about your daily food intake?

Then this online course Nutrition, Exercise and Sports is for you! Nutrition is crucial to live an active and healthy life, to support training, and to optimize performance. In this online course, researchers and teachers from Wageningen University & Research will familiarize you with the nutritional aspects of exercise and sports. What are the basic concepts in exercise physiology and sport nutrition science? How is exercise being fueled for the different types of sports like; power sports, sprinting and endurance exercise? And how does protein support skeletal muscle mass and performance? In this online course you will learn to estimate energy needs and understand thermoregulation and fluid balance. You will learn about the role of micronutrients and supplements in exercise performance. Moreover, you will be introduced to some health issues related to doing exercise.

This online course also touches upon how the lessons learned from nutrition and sports research can be applied during ageing. For example, what are the benefits of extra protein in vulnerable age groups?

Be aware that this course will not tell you exactly what to eat. Instead, you will learn and understand the nutritional aspects of exercise and sport, so you can make your own informed decisions and critically evaluate nutritional advices and claims.

For whom?

The online course Nutrition, Exercise and Sports is especially useful for:

  • Sport- and health coaches, Physiotherapists and Dietitians
  • People working in the (sport) food industry
  • Athletes and professional sporters
  • Everyone with a healthy appetite for knowledge about nutrition, exercise and sports

Ready to join the MOOC Nutrition, Exercise and Sports? This online course contains several interesting and inspiring interviews with nutrition and sport professionals. It will provide basic understanding of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, and contains challenging assignments that will give you insight in nutritional needs and performance benefits for (your) athletes, your clients or yourself.


Week 1 | Introduction to Sport Nutrition (Science)

Key topics:

An introduction into Sports, Exercise and Nutrition, including types of Sports, Sport Nutrition Pyramid. An introduction into Sport Nutrition Science - including empirical cycle, study designs, critical issues and performance measurements.

Week 2 | Skeletal Muscle, Exercise and Sports

Key topics:

An introduction into Skeletal muscle anatomy & physiology, including contraction and energy transfer. Exercise capacity: Power & Endurance. Cardiopulmonal system during Exercise

Week 3 | Energy and Fluid balance

Key topics:

Energy requirement, energy availability. Thermoregulation, Fluid balance, (de)hydration & rehydration strategies

Week 4 | Macronutrients

Key topics:

Carbohydrates & fats as energy source, nutritional strategies. Skeletal muscle protein metabolism and dietary protein intake.

Week 5 | Micronutrients and ergogenic supplements

Key topics:

Function of micronutrients and recommendations: Iron, Magnesium, calcium and Vitamins D and B. Ergogenic supplements and sports performance

Week 6 | Exercise and Nutrition during ageing

Key topics:

Skeletal muscle and ageing, Protein & Exercise in older adults, Intervention strategies

Taught by

Dr. Marco Mensink, Rieneke Terink MSc and Pol Grootswagers MSc


4.8 rating, based on 1,052 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I am a retired male (age 60) who loss a lot of weight 8 years ago. I am not an athlete and have never participated in any sports. However, for the past 8 years, I've engage in regular intense exercise sessions at my local gym, about 7 hours per week,...
  • Great insight into athletic performance improvement through nutritional strategies. It will be very valuable to my personal journey in developing better nutritional habits and mountain biking performance.
  • Pat Buckley
    I find the course made me sit down and review my own intakes. I'm enjoying the part on aging, too, as I am 65+ though still working and getting fitter right now. I believe I lost some fitness due to a injury a couple years ago. Through this course, I'm...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is really fantastic.I came to know in details the importance of exercise and having healthy food enriched with vitamins,minerals and proteins. I never knew in details as to why it is important to ingest a correct quantity and the time to consume...
  • Manuel Wills
    I really cannot put into words how amazing this course is! It's been a wonderful journey or adventure I'd say. It laid bare everything in the most simple manner the Presenters. Wow! the presentation was a discovery journey that change my Dumbass into...
  • Anonymous
    I have a great benefit from this course, my comment is on the first part about searches was somthing boring to put it first at the start
    Thanks alot for your efforts
  • Anonymous
    The structure of the course meets the expectations I had at the beginning. Moreover, the structure even surpassed more topics that I was not aware of. For example, although I have read about the difference between “recreational athlete” and “professional...
  • Harbans Singh
    Nutrition, exercise & performances are interrelated with each other. The performance of an athlete depends upon the level of exercises in particular sport / event and the proper nutrition provides energy requirement , the performance will be satisfactory....
  • Anonymous
    This course definitely surpassed my expectation. Both the content and the problem-answer sessions are very well designed, which makes it not only easy to follow through but also effective to reinforce what I just learned. I started the course in the hope to help my kids, who are active athletes, to receive good nutrition tips. Obviously, this course fulfills my purpose and I already attended to kids' nutrition needs. What surprised me most is the last Module dealing with issues during aging, which is perfect fit for myself! These are really eye-opening ideas, completely opposite to our conventional knowledge. They are so helpful that I immediately applied the protein intake recommendations to my every day meals. Thank you so much!
  • Anonymous
    This course is amazing i am really fanscinenting with this course i am passionate,i am learning a lot with this amazing course i am super excited to obtein my certificated of this course i am really recommended for everyone that would looking for a good a important course i am learning the best things here and i am increaaed my knowleges about nutritions and sport and Thanks for all Supporting that you guys given me i am really apprecieted and i Love this course i am learning good things with amazing professor that you have it and Thanks for kepping me forward and improve day after day i am enjoying so much Thanks for everything i am excited to obtein my certificated.reagarding mikael see you
  • Anonymous
    I found this a very interesting course. It gives good information on what the body needs to regularly function, and what helps the body function at maximum levels. It is focused on athletes, and it covers different sports across the board, i.e., the different diets weightlifters would have compared to footballers, or rowers. The information can also be transferred to occupations that require prolonged periods of physical exertion.

    What would have made this MOOC better is if they had links to the studies that they talked about. There are very little sources of information, you are just kind of listening to what the video says and have to accept it or find your own sources.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course in understanding how, when, and why nutrition is most beneficial not only for elite athletes, but those of us who regularly exercise, as well as how vital proper nutrition and exercise is to older adults to remain stronger and healthier. An added bonus was learning why using a specialized exercise program known as "Better in, Better out" prior to a surgery that will keep you sedentary, such as with a bone in a cast for a few months is so beneficial. This program can limit muscle mass loss and muscle strength. This course is for everyone.
  • Anonymous
    This course is so much informative , You learn almost everything about nutrition and their topics are so good and accordingly to nutrition, by completing this course you yourself can make yourself a great balanced diet as well you will get to know different types of athletes and what are the most important nutrition factors for different types of athletes. At the end of every to topic they ask very conceptual questions which removes all your doubts and queries. This is truly a worth of buying course . Thank you wageningen university for providing this course.
  • Anonymous
    Thanks a lot, I'm a 21 year old nutrition student and really eager to know about sport nutrition, my university classes can help me but this course made me soooo informative and super conscious about critical rew

    quirements, dangerous of overloads, crucial effect of exercise and maro and micro nutrients and....

    So now, I'm more professional in nutrition and exercise field which results in this fact that I can help my future clients and the people surrouding me . What is better than it?

    Big thank you for all this science-based information you gave us, more courses are useful too without any doubt.

    I wish all you love ,laugh and success.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was great. I liked the practical quests very much but I would have liked to see more measurements / experiments which can be done by a non-gym goer. I mean, I can't measure my max strength on 1 repetition of lifting if I don't have weights...
  • Anonymous
    Excellent As a senior I am now supported with a program to increase protein, ingested at specific timing combined with an increase unphysical activities added to my daily walks. Thank You for all that info. I will also spread the info around my friends and family. The second part of the course is so interesting because it applies a lot of the information to athletes and also to older adults who stand to benefit from all this research on nutrition. Super course.
  • Anonymous
    This course will provide you with entry level and some intermediate subjects revolving exercise and nutrition. I am now personally able to calculate hydration needs, calculating energy expenditure and know more about physiology. Every module has clips supporting the theory and quests will test your knowledge in a fun way. It has definitely improved my overall knowledge and recommend to take this course if you want to expand your knowledge in a more scientific way
  • Anonymous
    I actually learnt a lot from this course as its very helpful and explains every little details for everything you might ask for or ever wondered related to exercise and nutrition. Im very glad that i choose to join this course.
    im a dentist and my goal is to be esthetic and functional in bodybuilding area, this course taught me a lot and i took it for just knowledge.
    Thank you very much for your effort for such an amazing course :)
  • Anonymous
    Thank you very much for this course that helped me understand much better how important is to have a healthy lifestyle. With the knowledge that I got through this course I am sure that I will be able to have a healthier lifestyle than before and help the people surrounding me understand better how important is for our health to have a healthy lifestyle both with the help of nutrition and exercise.
  • Anonymous
    if you want to know what, when and how to eat to increase sport performance and the mechanisms behind it, this course is for you!

    As a bonus I also got to get a better understanding of the various study designs and how the synergistic effect of nutrition and exercise could also be applied to older adults.

    I personally learned a lot and found everything very interesting.

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